That's what it felt like the other week when I took part in an intensive throwing course
to refine my throwing skills.
Learning to throw (in pottery language that’s working at the wheel) is a bit like learning to drive, teaching hand and feet to carry out separate yet coordinated movements which – with regards to pottery – combine to make a lump of clay behave itself so it can be transformed into whatever shape is intended.
So I took myself off to Oxfordshire to meet up with eight other enthusiasts - or should I say foolhardies - for 5 days of endurance training with Richard Phethean, a ceramics graduate of Camberwell School of Arts and Fellow of the UK Craft Potters Association.
|Jug by Richard Phethean|
It’s amazing what 5 days of hard graft under the watchful eye of a master will do for you. We worked from 9-7 every day on what seemed about every shape under the sun – cylinders, mugs, jugs, bowls, plates, pots with lids, even teapots (one of the trickier things to get right).
It was hard work but at the same time absolutely exhilarating. Back at my digs at night I was still firing on all cylinders ;) until the early hours reading and watching videos to consolidate what I’d learnt.
My car boot (I confess I drive a small-booted Mini) full of the fruits of my labour, I returned home a friend richer and ... a better potter. Another job well done :)))